We arrived at 2pm in the hotel, checked in, had lunch then waited for time to pass to go to the tennis courts & stay there until Rafa’s match. In the hotel there was a booth for the Tournament Organizers (DTC), they told us almost all players are staying in the hotel except for Rafa & Fedex (in Burj Al Arab)
After this we went to the center court, Haas has just won & it was the on-court interview, so we didn’t sit, but left to meet with the lady that’ll let us in to see a little of Rafa’s practice. On the way Haas was leaving center court as well so i took a pic & my sis took his autograph. Then, Soderling was in a booth for "Emirates post" there was press & media, i also took some pics.
We went to Rafa's practice, passed by a court where Djokovic was warming up/practicing before his match with Fedex. Then…WE SAW RAFA!!!! It was behind closed doors, he was hitting some balls & Uncle Toni was with him & I think the physio (the guy who sits with Uncle Toni in the matches) poor guy was collecting balls. I took pics while peeking from the side of the door & watched Rafa . The lady (who was annoying) said that they don’t want anyone to disturb them so we wont be able to talk to him or get his autographs, we only stayed there for maybe 5 mins then we left she said we’ll leave now. (5 mins is not enough to see Rafa)
We went to center court to get seats before Fedex’s match & also Rafa’s match. Fed vs Novak was a nice match but long…I wanted it to end coz it was getting late & I wanted to see Rafa pronto!! It was surprising that there were more ppl cheering for novak rather than fedex but those were the Russian crowds (who cheered for youzhny later on). My sis was ‘booing’ fedex I tried to stop her (even though I didn’t support fed) but I felt it was wrong to ‘boo’ him.
After that match it was time for RAFA!!!!!! Love this guy…he’s just different! In the players box, Rafa’s mom, gf, sis, dad, physio & Uncle Toni all sitting in one row. There were Spanish supporters but the Russians were louder…this was the only match I had the courage to shout some “Vamos Rafa”, vamooses, woo…My friend was calling to listen coz they weren’t showing the match on Dubai Sport channel. It was nice when Rafa changed his shirt…the crowd shouting, cheering, whistling, I took pics & got to see his red underwear It was also gr8 to hear his voice, when he said “Vamos” (without my sis I don’t think I would’ve cheered…)
Still sad about Rafa’s loss…we decided to attend the night session as Rafa wasn’t playing. So, 6:40 me, my sis & bro left the hotel to attend Fed vs Haas…the court was full, no place, so we sat on the stairs. I was clapping when haas got a point, felt sorry for the guy as well coz there were lots cheering for fedex! We didn’t see it all, got out after 4-3 in the 2nd set.
Well…I guess this is the end of my tennis experience…I’m coming back 2moro but I wont attend the final, I didn’t buy tickets, didn’t want to. I wish I could’ve met Rafa up close, I cant wait for a year to see him again & I miss him already.
More info and pics in viva_raf's blog.